Dartmouth entrepreneurs take advantage of chilly weather

By Angie Hilsman | Jul 29, 2017
Photo by: Angie Hilsman Paige Santos sells her paracord bracelets.

Dartmouth resident Paige Santos started making paracord bracelets to strengthen the left side of her body. The hobby soon bloomed from therapy for the Cerebral Palsy patient to a craft business.

Santos, 19, was one of 50 vendors at the Padanaram Festival on July 29. She sold $5 paracord bracelets, dog leashes, luggage tags, keychains, and bottle openers, and by noon had already brought in about $300.

"It's hard for me to do a real job because I can't be on my feet all day," Santos said. She made more products as she manned the booth on Elm Street. It takes about 20 minutes to make a bracelet, she said, but the job strengthens both her motor skills and social skills.

"It kind of helps my social life because I have to interact with people, any age," she said. Santos has run Paige's Paracord since 2014, funding the costs for both a table and supplies on her own. The only help she gets is with burning the ends of the rope when finishing off a product.

"That side is sensitive, so she doesn't feel the pain," said her mother, Marianne Santos, who helps with firing the rope so her daughter doesn't burn herself.

Across the way, siblings Connor, 12, and Natalie Murphy, 10, sold candy to passing shoppers. The Dartmouth Middle and DeMello Elementary students started Sometimes Sweet in April, they said.

"The main candy store on the corner closed this summer, so there would be no competition," Natalie said.

Usually, the duo sells the candy inside of College Edge, but they decided to come out for the day. It's been their best sale day yet, they said.

"It's good to learn how everything's run, and it's good to talk to people and give kids candy to have," Connor said.

While the two aren't sure if business will be a long term pursuit, they've already got the savvy of entrepreneurs.

"We both gave our business cards to our whole class, and they thought it was really cool," said Natalie.

The Padanaram Festival has grown from a sidewalk sale in the 1970s into a 50-vendor ordeal hosted by the Padanaram Business Association, complete with magicians and dancers.

While many attendees dressed in sweatshirts for this year's summer event, association member Anne Whiting said the weather was a blessing.

"It's not a good beach day, and it's not good for boating, so that helped," she said.

An event committee begins planning three months in advance every year, although the festival is typically held on the last Saturday in July. The Padanaram Business Association also holds a yearly holiday festival at the end of the year.

Wareham resident Heidi Taft chats flowers with Village Gardens owner John Cate. (Photo by: Angie Hilsman)
Lucas Sibin, 3, pulls a collection of rocks and decorative butter knives in his toy truck. (Photo by: Angie Hilsman)
Patricia Baptiste buys candy for her kids from "Sometimes Sweet" owners Natalie and Connor Murphy. (Photo by: Angie Hilsman)
Shoppers browse decorative at Seahouse Designs. (Photo by: Angie Hilsman)
Connor deGouveia, 5, makes playdough with Kids Inc. staff. (Photo by: Angie Hilsman)
Reagan Sedgwick, 6, and Benjamin Pimental, 2, make playdough at the Padanaram Festival. (Photo by: Angie Hilsman)
Stu Fenton, 6, gets a snake painted on his face. (Photo by: Angie Hilsman)
Jen Medeiros paints a shark on Mikey Santos, 3. (Photo by: Angie Hilsman)
Whitney Berger, 9, shops the sea horses at Karen Donahue's A Horse of a Different Color. (Photo by: Angie Hilsman)
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